NFL Expands Overseas Football Broadcast
Football is an American sport, but the NFL has worked hard to make it a global one. Its history of playing regular season games overseas goes back almost 100 years.
This week, the NFL Network is broadcasting two games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. But many US fans will need a VPN to watch these games because of geo-restrictions. 해외축구중계
The NFL season is finally back, and with it, all 32 teams will go helmet-to-helmet in a battle for the Super Bowl. The NFL has taken steps to expand its international reach, hosting regular season games in London, Mexico City, and Germany.
The newest addition to this international series is the Green Bay Packers, who will play their first game in London against the Giants on Sunday. The Packers are one of the league’s best-known franchises, and their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has won a pair of Super Bowl rings.
But this game will be the 30th in the series, and none of them has featured two teams with winning records. That’s because good teams will only agree to ship a game overseas when it’s against a team they know they can beat or will draw a lot of fans.
The Big 12 has been exploring the possibility of a bowl game in Mexico. The conference is hoping to host a game at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey, which seats 53,000 fans. The game would pit the champions of the North and Central divisions. If a game is held in Mexico, the teams would play under NFL rules, including instant replay reviews and the coach’s challenge.
The game will mark ESPN’s fourth NFL telecast from Mexico City. It previously aired games from the city in 2019 (Chiefs-Chargers) and 2016 (Raiders-Texans). The network will also broadcast the game throughout Latin America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
NFL fans in Mexico are passionate about their teams. The country has the largest NFL fanbase outside the United States, with American football the second most popular sport in the country. According to TikTok, a social media app that allows users to share and view videos, more than 1.4 million Mexicans are following the 49ers and Cardinals this season.
After a sell-out crowd at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and record-breaking TV ratings for the game, the NFL is looking to make Germany a regular destination for its International Series. The league’s head of Europe says it was “probably a little late” to come to Germany, but interest is growing.
The league has partnered with German companies to boost its profile ahead of Sunday’s game between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena. A series of TV shows and fan events are planned, and breweries and pubs are promoting themselves as team bars.
Julian Barsch, who hosts two podcasts, Gridiron Deutschland and Saturday Kickoff, says it’s no longer enough to just watch the games on German TV. Fans want the American commentary and a more authentic atmosphere, which is why so many tune in to the US streams on services like fuboTV. There are also a growing number of local football clubs that draw young fans to the sport.
Unlike in the US, where fans watch their teams play on television, German football fans typically follow the game on radio, podcasts and social media. “Gridiron Deutschland” and Saturday Kickoff are popular NFL-focused podcasts with listeners in Germany, while many fans also tune into college games, using a VPN to fake their location.
The NFL’s figurative footprint keeps ticking up on a global scale, as Germany now joins London and Mexico City as a regular-season stop for the International Series. The league plans to stage games in Munich and Frankfurt in upcoming seasons.
In Germany, the interest in American football has soared since 2015, when NFL games became available on free-to-watch channel ProSieben. NFL executive vice president of international business strategy, Dan Gosper, said that the addition of a 17th game to the schedule helped propel the NFL’s entry into the country. He added that interest grew even more after the league began partnering with broadcasters and over-the-top subscription platform DAZN for exclusive rights.